Buying 1911: Dos and Don'ts

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by tspeck007, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    Here at TFF
    Did anyone else notice this thread is over three years old and the original poster never showed back up to read the suggestions. :D:D:D

    Lots of opinions and good info in this thread.
  2. colt

    colt New Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    I own a Para Ordinance and the gun shoots just great. It fits my hand like a glove and just an all around a well built gun. There are many well built 1911 these days and the Para is definatly one of them.

  3. Brian48

    Brian48 New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    I had some reservations about Auto-Ordnance. I remember the old Numrich manufactured guns in the early days and they weren't great. I had to remind myself that this was a completely different company making these guns now (Kahr). Anyway, I took a chance and picked one up as a "knock around" gun to take some of the wear and tear off my Colts. The AOs are one of the few 1911s we can buy here "new" in the People's Republic of MA. I'm about at the 800+ rd marker right now. Pretty darn happy with mine. Here's my initial review of the gun over at the 1911 forum if you want details.
  4. MAGNUM44

    MAGNUM44 Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    My SA Mil- Spec is not the Military GI one I bought the little more expensive one that has the SS BBL & the throated & polished ramp + a few goodies with the new gun like 2 sets og grips & a holster & Mag carrier, the whole thin ran about $775.00, it's the parkerized version, package & i love this gun, best money I ever spent on a SD gun.
  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    I tend to avoid recommending specific products, especially relative to Model 1911 pistols, because there are many very good makers and products.

    Unfortunately, there are some makers who have made (and may still make) some junk. I do not want to possibly have to defend my statements in litigation, so I write with caution.

    I personally look for respected makers who used forged frames and slides. Even though the forging may be done in another country, I prefer that the machining and heat treatment be done in North America. A little research on the buyers part will determine which commercial products meet the aforementioned specifications.
  6. Knowing myself, and what I like, I'd go for a classic WWI/WWII vet. No frills and you know it's going to work. You can spend a lot on a safe queen, or not as much on a shooter. TJ
  7. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    U S military production 1911 and 1911A1 are exceedingly pricey, today because of collector and historical interest. They are pushing 65 to 90 years of age. Steel does not improve with long age.

    Also, during WW II the need for a large number of pistols fast, cause many variances to be allowed by the War Dept. for parts that failed to meet actual blueprint specs, but were still deemed serviceable for war emergency purposes.

    Pre WW II commercial colts are also exceedingly pricey and getting old..

    Post WW II commercial Colts are usually very desirable, especially the original "Series 70" pistols made in the 1970's. {But you will need to change the barrel bushing, for reliability considerations in a personal defense gun.}

    There is a U S firm that (How shall I say?) took the name of a famous U. S Army Armory in the same city where S&W is located after that Armory stopped manufacturing weapons for the U S Govt. I think that they make some forged frame and slide no frills1911A1 type pistols. I own several. Lightly used guns can be a a good buy. They also make fancy 1911 type pistols as do many other good makers.
  8. Are you speaking of "Springfield Armory" 1911s? I have never shot one, so I'm not acquainted with the different makes. I guess you're right about the oldies, but mine never hiccuped. It's all those after market frills that get me like beaver tails, skeleton hammers and triggers, etc. I would be interested in a newer, no frills 1911. TJ
  9. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    It is my understanding that the current Springfield Armory brand uses forged frames and slides made by IBEL in Brazil. I believe their entry level gun is made in Brazil and so marked. The next step up which is still a no frills design (but uses or used to use 1950's style fixed NM sights). I understand these have their frames and slides machined and heat treated in N. America.

    Springfield of Genesco. IL likely has a toll free customer support phone number and web site. Check them out.

    P.S. Barrel cracking seems to be the most common (and not a very common) issue with 65 year old and older 1911's. Cracking one can significantly devalue a collector grade gun. I do not have current prices for GI spec barrels of modern mfg; but would guess about $75 today.
  10. I can't see how many WWII guns are considered "shooters," and perform properly. Under your scenario, the old steel on these war horse should be giving out all the time. M-1, M-1 carbines, 1911, lugers, "Victory" revolvers. 1903-a3s aren't falling apart, so why would a 1940s Colt 1911 be subject to parts failure? I have a slight disagreement with you on this one, Hammer. I WOULD have a problem with a Japanese type 94, and wouldn't trust it, but a 1911-A1? Not too worried. Granted, they are expensive and getting more so. TJ
  11. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    As to Teejay9's last post it is not really a safety issue with 1911's as it is with Damascus barrel shotguns or low number 1903 Springfield rifles. Most 1911's are still serviceable. Failures are rare.

    It is a matter of devaluing a collector item. In over 50 years, I have only seen only two 1911 (WW II or earlier vintage) barrels crack from normal shooting and loads. {Nothing dangerous.} However the supply of original and surplus barrels is long gone. If you beak a part in an old valuable gun, you are not likely to find a correct replacement part (that will fool and expert) at an inexpensive price.

    The US military 1911 you could buy for $35 to $45 fifty years ago, brings over a $1000, today. The same basic idea is true of old Lugers and other collector guns.
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